ZINIO logo
New Scientist International Edition

New Scientist International Edition 21/28-dec-19

New Scientist covers the latest developments in science and technology that will impact your world. New Scientist employs and commissions the best writers in their fields from all over the world. Our editorial team provide cutting-edge news, award-winning features and reports, written in concise and clear language that puts discoveries and advances in the context of everyday life today and in the future.

Leggi di più
United Kingdom
New Scientist Ltd
6,88 €(VAT inclusa)
128,92 €(VAT inclusa)
51 Numeri

in questo numero

4 minuti
signs of hope

THERE are many who believe, as this decade comes to a close, that the world is going to hell in a handcart. The failure to take dramatic action on climate change, the perceived coarsening of public debate, the rise of instantly transmitted fake news and populist movements that rail against experts and facts are all taken as evidence that humanity is in the grip of a downward spiral. We know you, as readers of New Scientist, share our love of evidence and rational problem-solving. So you probably already know that the facts don’t support this narrative. In fact, by most measures, the world is getting better – for humans at least. That is largely due to science and technology delivering humanitarian and progressive solutions to problems such as disease, hunger, lack of…

1 minuti
climate summit failure

THE UK faces the task of breaking the deadlock on international climate negotiations next year, after the COP25 talks ended in Madrid on Sunday. The meeting overran to become the longest climate summit yet as delegates from over 190 countries struggled to reach agreement on key issues on the framework underpinning the Paris climate deal. Drawing up rules on a carbon market between countries has been deferred until next year, when the UK hosts a landmark climate summit in Glasgow. António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said he was disappointed with the outcome, and that leaders had missed an opportunity to be more ambitious on climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance for poorer countries. “But we must not give up, and I will not give up,” he tweeted. Scientists said the “minimum compromise”…

1 minuti
planes to fly close together to cut fuel

THE aviation industry is planning to test whether mimicking the way birds fly in formation can reduce fuel use, in an effort to cut emissions. Plane manufacturer Airbus will run two demonstrator flights in the first half of next year. The idea, inspired by the V-formation that geese migrate in, is for one plane to take off soon after another, following closely and precisely enough to take advantage of the air vortex produced in the first plane’s wake. It could cut fuel use by 5 to 10 per cent per trip, says Airbus. If initial tests go well, the firm will then try the technique with a real passenger plane following an Airbus demonstrator flight, says Sandra Bour Schaeffer at Airbus, with tests planned for 2021. The technique could be used on…

3 minuti
paradox-free time travel

WOULD-BE time travellers have long wrestled with the grandfather paradox: if you change things in the past and prevent yourself ever existing, how did you time travel in the first place? In other words, if Alice goes back in time and kills her grandfather Bob, she won’t have been born and can’t carry out her murderous plot. One way to avoid this is the idea of branching universes, in which the universe splits into two with each instance of time travel, leading to an infinite number. Another idea is infinite copies of parallel universes that evolve differently over time. But physicists would prefer to avoid the infinite if possible. Now Barak Shoshany and Jacob Hauser at the Perimeter Institute in Canada have come up with a model of time travel that merely…

1 minuti
tiny folded dna machines may boost antibacterials

ORIGAMI can be deadly when made of DNA. Tiny devices created from intricately folded DNA strands can boost the potency of antibacterial chemicals by increasing their contact with microbes. When tested on two common kinds of bacteria, the folded DNA slowed their growth rate. Ioanna Mela at the University of Cambridge says a similar approach could be directed against any kind of microbe. “This is proof of principle.” DNA is best known for storing our genetic information, but it can also be folded into 3D structures called DNA origami. Additionally, small lengths of DNA can be designed to have the exact shape needed to bind to other biological molecules, like a key fitting into a lock. Mela’s team combined these two functions to create a flat platform of DNA with five wells, each…

1 minuti
toad ‘rediscovered’

THE starry night harlequin toad has been documented by biologists for the first time since 1991 in Colombia. But unlike some other stories of “rediscovered” species, this one was never really lost – the local Arhuaco people knew where the toad, which they call “gouna”, was all along. “We have shared our home with the gouna for thousands of years,” says Ruperto Chaparro Villafaña, who represents the Arhuaco community of Sogrome. The conservation group Fundación Atelopus spent years building trust between the biologists and the Sogrome community in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. Eventually, the Arhuaco people agreed to show them the toad in the wild. The starry night toad was considered potentially extinct, but the team documented a population of around 30 individuals.…